Andrea Allisonon Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I'm sure some of you have heard about a supposedly haunted house attraction so frightening that no one has been able to complete a full tour of it and maybe you went a bit further and tried to find it. Sorry to burst your bubble but this house doesn't exist.
It started to circulate among the population around in the mid-1980s. Like most urban legends, there are many variations of this one. However, they have some common links. The "house" has a specified number of floors or levels, and visitors are charged an exorbitant fee for entering, but get back a specified dollar amount for each floor or level completed. those who complete the full tour get back every cent they paid to get in. In the same breath, however, one hears that no one has yet managed this feat — this place has proved too darned scary for those who've so far tried it. Some versions include that a few visitors never came out of the exit and were later found dead on the top floor.
Many have filled the need for the interest in this legend. Richard Garriott, the creator of the Ultima series of computer games, use to Halloweenify his home and open it to the public. For fours years, 200 guests a night were allowed to explore the interactive theme park for free, witnessing a real-life sword-and-sorcery adventure, complete with monsters and mayhem.
Amusement parks even join in on the fun, turning into a fright-themed after-dark attraction. Of course, not everyone is looking for the ultimate scare. A woman in January 2000 filed a $15,000 lawsuit against Universal Studios in Florida, claiming their annual Halloween Horror Nights was too scary. Ms. Cleanthi Brooks, 57, said she knew it would be scary but not that scary. She said that when she and her granddaughter were visiting the Florida Park in 1998, an employee wielding a (chainless) chainsaw chased them toward an exit, with the result that they slipped on a wet spot and suffered unspecified physical injuries.